Sunday, May 30, 2010

BAPTISMS*KANSAS*SPANISH

5-24-2010 Dear Family, So, I said I'd tell you more about those eight people who have a date to be baptized on the 6th of June. We have J.R. He is the 9 year old son of a less active member. We went over and taught him yesterday and there was another little girl there. She was about nine years old as well. She is a member of the Asembly of God church. All the adults were inside talking and so we sat out in the yard and had the lesson. It started out as just us and J but within about two minutes J's brother (4 years old) and the other nine year old girl and her little sister joined us. We had fun teaching them all the plan of salvation. They all had fun looking at the pictures and learning. While we were teaching Sister R brought out some food so I took in the dishes when we were done and I got to meet the girls parents. He eventually asked if I was Mormon. I told him I was. I don't even remember how the conversation went but I asked him if he would like to come to church with us next Sunday. He said, "Well, why don't you come to my church instead!" I said, "Yeah, if you'll come to ours!" So we have a deal now! So we're going to go with him to the Asembly of God either this Tuesday or next. It was funny. Then we have the G's, a spanish couple in Hugoton. We also have W.H. She is a lady we ITL'd and she came to church once with us. We've taught her the first so far. She really liked her experience at church though. She's concerned because she already got baptized and it was really special to her and she doesn't know if she wants to be baptized again. So we're working with her. Then we have E and M. We just found them while we were tracting in the 100 degree weather yesterday. They both accepted a baptismal date right away. They are a young couple with a little boy. They are also a spanish speaking family. I really have to learn Spanish! And then last, but not least, we have M & K. M is the mother and K is her 17 year old daughter. They also both have a date for the 6th. They couldn't come to church with us yesterday because K had graduation all day. Graduation is a huge deal here! The whole flippin' town is all celebrating! It's crazy. No one would come to church because of graduation. In fact, about half our ward was gone on Sunday...including the bishop! So those are all of our people who have dates at the moment. It's very exciting. I hope that they all follow through. So, it sounds to me like you are all doing great. Man, Thursdays sound crazy! It seems like there always has to be one day that is always crazy busy! So dad released Landon last Thursday?! That is so crazy! Has he changed at all? I bet he loved his mission and I bet his family are excited to have him back again. Well, thanks for seding the patriarchal blessings. I had the same reaction as Emma. I felt so glad and blessed to be a part of this family. There are some pretty amazing things promised to us if we're faithful. So, you're not going on the trek huh? Well, I'm sure Emma will love coming home to a celebration ready to start right away! I'm sure you and Sam will have fun too. (Even if it is sitting at home reading or something!) What?! Emma's going to be 15? Are you sure about that Emma? Is that true? That's just wrong! That's so old! So Jaron got his driving permit?! How old is he? Isn't he only, like 12!? He should not be driving. Wow, that's so weird! Well, you asked how I'm doing her in Kansas. I'm doing good. It's funny because most everyone who lives here doesn't like it at all. They're always saying, "I hate it here...it's so depressing!" I can't figure out why they're still here! But, I like it just fine. Of course as a missionary we don't worry what there is to do around and all that. We are just focused on the people. Your description of how you think of Kansas though is very accurate! It is flat, dry, dusty and windy...all the time! It never changes. The dust is always blowing in our eyes and we always have a light dusting of dust in our hair and on our skin and clothes. I can't tell if I'm getting tanner or if I'm just getting dustier. Maybe just a little of both! That's funny that you greet me when I pop up on the computer! So in a way it's like I never even left! Well, you asked when I get to go to the temple. I get to go on my year mark. So I have about three or four more months to wait. So guess what!? I ITL'd a guy in Spanish the other day! It was so scary! "Hey sir, how are you doing today?" I asked He just looked at me with a confused look so I said, "Oh, habla espanol?" He smiled and said, "Si." So I said, "Oh, hola, como esta?" He replied, "Bien." "Mi nombre es Elder Cryer. Como se llama?" He told me his name and then I said, "Somos los misioneros de la iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los santos de los ultimos dias." Then I turned to Elder Alonso and handed it off to him because that's all I can say so far! It was pretty intense! But don't think I'm ready for a letter all in spanish! That's still a little ways off! I'm trying to learn how to bear my testimony in spanish. Well, that's basically everything that has gone on here in Ulysses. Oh, dad...do you know anything about 'Wagonbed Springs'? I guess there was some sort of mormon army that camped there or something. Anyway, this guy was telling me about it and told me I should go check it out. I guess it's right here between Ulysses and Hugoton. I thought I'd get a little background history on it first and then go check it out one of these P-days. Well, I guess I'll wrap this up. I am still alive and well her in Kansas...Well, I think I'm still alive! Hope your week has gone great and hope it continues to do so! Love you all a ton. Love Ben
video

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MEMORIES OF GREENVILLE

18 May 2010
Dear Family!
Hola! Como esta? Yo estoy muy bien! O.K. Well that's all the spanish I can handle right now! Is it ever right? Does it make any sense? I got to hola, como esta and then I had to turn to my english-spanish dictionary! I still have a lot to learn! Sister Pfile should be sending me some stuff here pretty soon.
Well, let's see. You wanted to know who we're working with. We're working with one lady who is awesome but she is one of those eternal investigators. She'll read and pray but she says she's not ready to be baptized. I asked her why but she said she doesn't know. We have tried about everything with her and she has just stopped progressing. So we'll see what happens with her. We are also trying to get her to stop smoking. She is really struggling with that. Please pray for her. She is so close!
We're also working with a nine year old boy who is the son of a less active mother and non-member father. She wants to start coming back to church and wants her family to be taught. It looks like the dad is going to be stubborn though.
We also have a spanish couple that only speak spanish and so Elder Alonso is working with them! And then we have a ton of less actives/part member families/potential investigators that we're working with. We are definately staying busy! For a small town there is a lot of work.
Oh, we are also working with an older lady. She loves the missionaries, the women of the church, and the church and believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true but she isn't sure she wants to be baptized. Yeah, we can't quite figure it out either. I think she'll come around eventually.
So the other day we were eating lunch and I saw Elder Alonso eating a pepper and I asked if it was a jalapeno pepper.
"Um, well kinda, but this kind isn't hot. It's actually more sweet."
He offered me a little piece but I said, "No, I think I'll pass. It might not be hot to you but it probably would be to me."
"No, it's really not hot...it's sweet," he said.
So I tried it and guess what?...it actually was....HOT! I thought I was going to die. My tongue was on fire. Elder Alonso, of course, is just cracking up because I fell for his horrible little trick. Man, my tongue was on fire for 15 minutes! And it was just a tiny piece too. So I ate a jalapeno. I hope that's the last time I do that!
So Emma, you'll love this. We went to Guyman, Oklahoma last Friday for district meeting and the Guyman church building is so tiny! Even smaller than the one in....what was the name? Well, remember where we went to the parade instead of the rest of church? (Greenville, California) Yeah, it was smaller than that building. This building probably had almost the same square footage as our gym back home. No joke. There are no halls. When you walk into the doors there is one big room that you walk into. That room is the chapel, gym, and relief society/priesthood room. Then there are about six rooms (small rooms) around the edge of that room. There is also a small kitchen, library, bathroom and font. I think they said it is the smallest church building that the church builds. I should hope so because I don't think you can get much smaller! I was shocked at how small it was.
Well, I hope everything is going good for everybody. Thank you for everything that each of you do for me. I love each of you so much.
Love Ben
P.S. We had a lightning storm a few nights ago and it woke me up all night. It was so loud! (You know it had to be to wake me up!) There have been a lot lately but that one was the loudest.

Friday, May 21, 2010

LOOK FOR GODS INFLUENCE DAILY

Hi Everybody!
So, by the time you get this letter I will no long be in Calhan. I will be in a place called.,.,"The middle of nowhere!" (aka Ulysses, Kansas) They don't even have a Wal-mart in my area! It should be a very exciting adventure. We went over to the Boyds this morning to say goodbye's and Sister Boyd google-earth'd Ulysses. It looked like a lot of farm land! The town itself looked like it was a decent size...but still small.
So, I'm not sure who my new comp is...I'll find out in about an hour...but President did tell me that I'm going to be senior companion. I'm excited but a little nervous. I mean, I know nothing at all about this new area! I guess I'll have to learn it quick. And I'll have to make friends with someone quick so I can use their phone on Sunday...Mother's Day! I'm excited to get to hear all of your voices again!
I'm pretty sure that I mentioned that Elder C. Scott Grow came to the mission to do a fireside. Well, it was a great conference. It would take way too long for me to write down so I'll just tell you about it when I call but I did want to write about one thing that happened. Right when the conference ended President came up to the mic and said, "Elder Grow has decided that he would like to visit with a few of you individually."
Then he read off the ten or so names (out of 100+ missionaries) that he had chosen to meet with. Mine was one of them! Man, I could feel my heart start to race! I kept thinking, "What have I done wrong?"..."Why would he choose to talk to me?"
Well, the conference ended and Elder Grow started meeting with us one by one. My turn finally came. We went into the high council room and we sat down. We talked for a few minutes about what I had gotten from the conference. Then he asked where I was from. When I told him that I was from Eugene his face lit up. He told me that two of his sons were born in Eugene and that he knows President Hill and President Shultz. It was neat that he knew some stuff about my home. Then he asked me if I had any questions for him. I told him that I knew that we were called to areas for certain reasons and certain things and so I asked him how I can know that I am doing everything I'm supposed to in my area. He said to write in my journal every night about times that day when I noticed the Lords hand in something that happened or times that I felt or saw his influence. He said that if I would do that I would know. I have started doing it and I have seen so many times the Lord has helped me that I would have missed otherwise. (Ask me about Fast Sunday when I call)
I didn't have any other questions for him after that so he said, "Wll, Elder Cryer, it's been very nice to meet you...you must have wonderful parents."
I said, "Oh, I do...I love them alot."
Then we got up and walked to the door and then he grabbed my hand and looked into my eyes and said, "Tell your parents something for me, will you? Tell them that a General Authority looked into their sons eyes and can tell that he is worthy and clean and that he is a good disciple of Christ...tell them that."
I promised that I would, so, there you go. It felt so cool being told by a general authority that I was worthy and clean. I will remember that moment for a very long time. So thanks for being such awesome parents mom and dad!
So, mom, you asked who I have actually baptized (as in, I was in the water with them). So far I have been able to baptize one person....
This is the letter I started but never sent! I figured I would just add on to it and send it to you even though I've told you about it already!

10 May 2010

So we went shopping for food today at Daves food store. (I'm sure I'll meet 'Dave' sometime because the town is so small!) But I saw that they had fresh strawberries for two dollars so I bought a pack and I also got some cream so I can make waffles, strawberries and cream! You got me all in the mood when you told me about your Mothers Day breakfast! I'm excited to have some tomorrow morning!
Well, today I finished the last of my unpacking. I am now all moved into my new apartment for at least six weeks.
Tonight we are going over to a potentials house to have dinner and then we're going to do some service for him. We're going to help him move some stuff around. He said he's going to get us some pizza so it should be good.
So, right now we have a dust storm going on! About 30 minutes ago the sky was blue and now it's brown! The wind is blowing and picking up all of the dust and blowing it around! Crazy stuff!
We just got done deep cleaning our car. We cleaned all the interior with that cleaning spray and we vacuumed it and cleaned inside all the doors and stuff. It looks so good now.
So I just went out to get the mail and guess what!? I found a nice long letter from a girl named Emma that was delivered to me by snail mail service.
It sounds like you and Natalie had fun putting on your magic act! I do remember that You Tube video...that was so funny. So dad filmed a little of your act huh? You should try to send it..I'd love to see it!
Now, what's this that I hear about my little sister going to prom? Is that even allowed? That is totally disgusting that you drank some of that nasty drink you made. It sounds like you had a great time at the dance though...and sounds like you met some interesting people! Mr. T sounds crazy! I'm confused...how did ten otter-pops save you? (I know, I know...you told me not to ask.)
So, your starting to figure out your sports cars huh? I've actually learned a bit about cars myself since I've been out. That's funny that you knew what it was though!
So, we're $1.02 closer to our family cruise huh? That's sweet. Keep it up!
So, mom, I just realized I never finished telling you about the person that I actually baptized. The one person that I've performed the baptism for was S. She was a 12 year old girl that we baptized with her dad. That was in my first area when I was with Elder Oakes.
Well, I guess that's about all the news I've got for you. Again, it was great to talk to you all! I really enjoyed it...and I can't wait until Christmas! Keep up the good work! Stay healthy and happy! Talk to you later.
Love you mom, dad, Sam and Emma!....(and Jackson and the cat)
Love Ben

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LEARNING SPANISH IN ULYSSES

18 mAY 2010
HEY!!! So this was one of those Tuesday P-days. We had Zone Conference yesterday. Man it was so good! I did remember to give those pretzels to President and Sister Pfile. Sister Pfile was so happy and said that that was her mothers day present! She also asked how I was doing out in Kansas. I told her that I was enjoying it but that I was trying to learn spanish so that I could talk with the people. She said that she would send me some study stuff to help me learn. So its really happening! I'm actually going to try and learn spanish.
So yeah, Zone conference was way good. Our mission has completely changed the way we do things....well, not completely but alot!.....We used to have a monthly baptismal goal. So we would set it at the beginning of the month and then work towards that. But now we have weekly baptismal goals and each week we plan for three weeks out. (Does that make any sense at all?!) President realized that we were giving the adversary too much time between us and our baptismal goal. So this way we are focused every day on who we are going to baptize that week and how we are going to do it. It really helps us keep our focus on the people and on baptism. Also, another main topic was personal revelation. It doesn't matter how good we are with words or people....it doesn't matter how much we know...all that matters is if we can recieve and follow personal revelation. That is the only way to convert. We are simply a conduit. If we can't make that connection between God and the investigator then we are wasting our time and their time.
We also talked about how we can baptize every week. Any limitation that we say we have is put there by ourselves...God has no limits. If we trust in him and rely on him and follow what he tells us to do then there will be nothing that will have the power to stop us as missionaries.
Towards the end of the conference President Pfile said, with a little sarcasm but still very serious..."Hmm, I wonder what the Holy Ghost can do to help us in this mission? Why dont we give him a shot. Why dont we?" :)
The last few apostles and general authorities that have come to our mission have kept saying that this mission is going to see many marvelous miracles soon and President Pfile told us that Elder Grow said, right before he left..."President, this mission is on the verge of great things." You can just feel it...Its hard to explain, but you can just feel that we are going to be seeing some amazing miracles soon! I'm excited to be a part of it.
Well...I'm still loving Ulysses! We went to Hugoton last week and I got to meet the branch president out there and also alot of the ward members. They are great people. Tell Jodi that he was dang right about Ulysses except that you have to drive to the middle of nowhere and then go another 60 miles! :) Oh, and Hugoton doesn't even exist...I'm pretty sure its just a figment of peoples imaginations. Its just a kind of place that only people in places like Ulysses can imagine and experience! :)
So Sheri Dew is a native of Ulysses huh? cool! Guess what? There is a sign as you're coming into Ulysses that also says that it is the hometown of an Olympic vollyball player. I cant remember her name but there you go! Just a fun random fact!
So Emma got her blessing?!?!?!?!? SWEET! I'm so excited for you! That is so awesome. Be sure to read it often and study it! I'm still learning stuff from mine and I got it....what was it?...almost two years ago? I can't wait to read my little sisters blessing! :)
So dad, I dont know who picked the missionaries to be interviewed by Elder Grow. I was going to ask President Pfile but I forgot. So I really have no idea.
Man, that is awesome about Carson being ordained! Tell him a big CONGRATS for me will you?! :) I wonder where he's going to go? Maybe here! and we'll be comps! Hmmm...well.., maybe that would be un-inspired! haha. :)
So moms rocking out in her car now huh? How can you rock out to boogie woogie/ragtime piano though? You've got to get her some ZZ Top and Nickleback and stuff! (No, nevermind...that would probably scar her for life....she doesn't need another "space mountain" experience! She had better stick with boogie woogie ragtime!)
So I'll have to tell you about the people I'm working with....I'll do that in my letter! We have a few that I can tell you about and then a few that I'll have to double check with Elder Alonso about because he taught them all in spanish and so I have no clue what they said! They could have been making fun of me the whole time for all I know!
Well, my starwberries and waffles went really well! I bought some...don't gag...pre-maid frozen waffles. I know....it practically doesn't even count but at least I had fresh strawberries and cream! It was still pretty good though. Nothing like homemade but it satisfied my craving! I hear you dad about having to live on nothing for what seems like forever due to lack of money! The end of the month is always interesting!
Well....I better stop rambling on or I'll have nothing to write about in my letter!
I'm glad to hear that everything is going great! They are going just as good here!
Take care and have a great week! I love ya!
Love Ben

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

!QUE!? YO TENGO QUE HABLAR ESPANOL?

HEY!
Cómo estás?.....ok...well thats still about all the spanish I know! Man it was way good to talk with you all yesterday! I'm glad that I didn't interupt dinner! Well....hmmm I think that I just about told you everything that I have to talk about! You all sounded really good though. Sounds like life is treating you all really well and that your all happy....hey! Just like me! It sounds like you had a great mothers day mom! I'm glad. Thanks for the pictures too, those are great! As I was looking at all of them I was noticing that you have a lot of (what looks like) spanish words floating all around the house! I can't believe after 19 years of swearing that I would never learn another language, here I am learning spanish! UNBELIEVABLE!!!
So have you all gone looking for that geocache in the field yet? I wonder whats in it!?!?!?!
Well....It looks like its going to be a beautiful day today so I'm excited! The sun is out and shining bright and the trees are blowing in the.....oh wait...there aren't any trees! lol Well...trees or not its a really pretty day!
Thanks for sending me Nathans address! I'll be excited to hear how he's liking his mission.
Well....I'll get a letter sent off to you today or tommorow.
Love you all....again, it was great to hear your voices! Just a few months and we'll be talking again!
Have a great week!
Love Ben

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I'M GOING TO KANSA?

4 May 2010
Hey! So todays email has to be quick because we have a ton to do today...lots of travel and packing and stuff. So I found out that this transfer I am going to be senior companion in Ulysses Kansas. Yeah...the middle of flipping nowhere! No, I'm excited. :) There is no
Walmart there so I dont know where I'll be doing my shopping! I guess I'll figure that out as I go. Its kinda scary being made senior companion in an area I dont know at all! Pray for me!!! :)
Well dad....I can't believe that those female type (who are probably leaning over your shoulder right now trying to read along) refused to allow you to be recognized as Braniac of the Month. Your right....pure jealousy is all it can be....that's alright...I'm sure you will once again be recognized as Braniac of the Month in the Morning Toast. :) I cant believe that they went as far as to take away your phone!
Unbelievable!
Thats crazy that there is a geocache in the field! How long has it been there do you know? You'll have to let me know what you find. (Good job Sam on cracking the code...you code cracker you!)
Oh...thanks for the reminder on when I can (or can't rather) call on Mothers day. I wasn't quite sure! I can't wait to talk to you all!
Well....I really have to run now...I love you all! Have a great week....I'll talk to you (for real) in a few days... from the middle of nowhere!
Love ya,
Love Ben